Sunday at the dog park… and more


Sunday afternoon, Silver City.  After yesterday’s gorgeous 64° welcome, it was a bit of a shock to wake up to low 30s and tiny hail this morning.

For most of the day the sun comes out, the sun goes in, it rains or “hails,” it stops.  Right now, at 3PM, the sun is out.  I feel right at home – this could be Maine, right??

Max is looking better again today, and he ate all of his breakfast without the need of encouragement or hand feeding.  By late morning, he was looking bored enough that I thought I’d chance a trip to the dog park.  If there were no other dogs inside the fence, we’d stop in and let him decide how much he wanted to play – or not.

As luck would have it – and perhaps due to it being Sunday and a raw 44° – there were no other dogs at the park.  I pocketed his favorite ball, leashed him for the short walk to the gate, and off we went.

Didn’t need the leash.  Max knows dog parks, and will always make a straight run for the gate, and today was no exception.  I unleashed the beast and let him loose in the park.

Of course, any self-respecting dog has to sniff the perimeter to see who’s been here before him.  As Max patrolled and stopped to leave P-mail, I watched to see how he was moving, etc.

Finally, after deciding that it WAS a dog park, there HAD been other dogs, and he probably had an obligation to play with me, he turned and looked expectantly at me.

The look said it all. Where’s my ball?  Did you bring it??

Well, as a matter of fact, I did – and here it is!

I threw it and he was off like a shot. Caught it in mid-run, galloping in a big circle with the ball in his mouth – just like before.  He made his way back to me, dropped the ball on command, and was rewarded with a click and a treat.  (Clicker training is amazing.)

I picked it up, threw it, he chased after it.  And so it went for about 15 minutes.  I cannot begin to tell you how ecstatic it made me to see my boy running, leaping, fetching and returning with all of his usual enthusiasm.

So, I decided it was time to mix it up a bit.  Return, drop, click, reward.  OKAY.

Now, Max sitSTAY.  I walk about 30 feet away, ball in hand.  He STAYS.  OK!  Catch!

We did this a few times, with him returning and dropping for his click and reward.  Then I added another element.  SIT. STAY.  I throw the ball off away from us… and he sticks the STAY!!  GOOD BOY!  OK – GO!

Down. Stay. Throw.  Give him the OK to go fetch.  He was flawless!   Whew.  Feeling good about the upcoming training session.  Confident that he will be ready to work, and learn.

After all that, we stopped at the grocery to get some soy sauce and a few other things, then returned home where I fired up the oven and made roasted kale chips.  I found a recipe online a few months back, and I make them every now and then.  They totally satisfy my crispy salty food craving – which means I’m not eating potato chips!

If you’ve never had these amazing chips, here’s the easy recipe:

KALE CHIPS

Preheat oven to 400°F   While oven is heating:

1. Take one large bunch of curly kale (preferably organic); remove the ribs and tear the leaves into pieces (not too small) and place in a large bowl.

2. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the leaves, and massage well with your hands.  Coat the leaves really well.

3. Spread the coated leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet (use 2 sheets if you need), and sprinkle with salt.  I like using a salt grinder.

photo of kale ready to be oven roasted

Here they are, ready to go into the oven. It’s hard to see, but they are well-coated and glistening with olive oil.

4. Place cookie sheet(s) in oven and bake for 6-7 minutes; remove and check to see if they are crisp enough.  If not, return to oven for 2-3 more minutes.  Keep a close eye on them at this point because they can easily go from perfect to burnt in no time flat!

Remove from oven and enjoy!  You can store these kale chips in an airtight container for several days (assuming you don’t eat them all at once); just wait until they are cool before closing the container so they don’t get soggy.

You can see how they “shrink” in the oven. Boy, these chips have to be one of the easiest and healthiest snacks to make!

Even Max loves these things! Let me know if you try them…

One other item of note: this morning, on our early walk around the block I saw two pairs of bluebirds!

photo of eastern bluebird

Eastern Bluebird, courtesy Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

photo of male western bluebird

This male Western Bluebird looks very similar to the Eastern Bluebird. Courtesy birdinginformation.com

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About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in New Mexico, playing with a poodle, Silver City, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Sunday at the dog park… and more

  1. hank says:

    wish i had some kale!

  2. Marilyn Wheeler says:

    An exciting day!

  3. sarah doremus says:

    So glad Max is back to his old self. Have fun at training

    • Maureen Farr says:

      thanks Sarah! and thanks for sending the package with my tools and that marvelous book. I felt like a kid at Christmas! you’re a great friend and I miss you…

  4. Yay–I am so glad to hear that you guys are back to business as usual! Love those kale chips too, although when I make them next time, I won’t be adding salt, sadly. . . I have been doing REALLY well not eating salt, to the point that eating at the sushi place last night, I couldn’t even put my sushi near soy sauce and everything tasted far too salty for me–amazing!

    • Maureen Farr says:

      OOPS! Cindy I wrote Sarah’s reply to you first!! glad that the no salt zone is holding. I know how hard it is, and I’m proud of you. Max even got up on the couch with me tonight – something he hasn’t done willingly since his accident. I’m hoping he’ll get on the bed too… xoxo

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